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Saturday Morning (and Hatching)

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A Sktchy30 drawing of Kristin, Creativity Matters group member
A nightly #Sktchy30 drawing of Kristin, Creativity Matters group member.

I need a month of Saturdays!

I wish I had gotten up when I first woke. I had startled awake. I thought maybe it was earlier than it was. It was still dark out, but a check of my phone told me it was within the realm of getting up time for me. I love that hour of dark and the decadence of being up at 5. But the current foster burrowed next to me, and I was suddenly aware that my feet were cold. (I almost always sleep in socks, but my feet were bare.) So I wrapped around all five pounds of her, taking in the smell (she stinks despite two baths since we brought her home), and fell back asleep.

I’ve been up now for hours. The sky is fully light. Despite falling back asleep, I still had a few hours of quiet morning. The house has finally woken. I hear the click clack of another at a computer. I hear the beeping, rhythmic, repeated, the every-five-minutes warning that blood sugars are too low. A TV is now on in another room. I hear the low murmur of newscaster voices. The stinky dog is in my lap, nose burrowed against my wrist as I type.

She has been in my lap, insisting I move the computer farther away to make room for her several times in the last few hours. Fosters typically sit next to me or near me… content to be on the futon. But this wants to be on me. The first time she crawled into my lap this morning (and this is the first Saturday with her, so it’s the first time I’ve sat here to type… which is my Saturday morning luxury… this pile of quilts… comfy futon… gradually lightening day… and the convenience of a cheap-but-working chromebook), I tried to relocate her, and she came right back. So I tried to balance my Chromebook on her (which I often do with our own dog, who also always sits in my lap). She seemed find having the computer resting above her, but she is tiny. She is all of maybe five pounds. I shifted the computer farther away. She fits perfectly in the space between me and the keyboard.

Unfortunately (for her), I get up frequently. I am on my third coffee pod. I have showered. I have taken the foster out for a walk. I have tested the blood sugar of a sleeping boy. I have taken notes for CMP Episode 234. I have taken notes for my CMP List Challenge list for today and looked over my list from yesterday. (Before that, I quickly made the image to announce the list for today – because I am behind.) I have skimmed the stack of library books and pulled out a kid’s book to see if maybe I don’t really need to keep it out. One glance inside, and I know I can’t take it back until I talk about it. I have pondered recent podcast discussions with my son. I have again wondered how to get rid of boxes of accumulated scrapbooking supplies to clear shelves. I reserved a few books from the library, books I saw mentioned by others as well as a few I saw when checking the library for something else.

I sat with a fresh cup of coffee and read half of a (different) book I’ve been meaning to review on the CMP. I had started it before and, immediately upon picking it up again, remembered how much I love this book already and how brilliant it is… and how much I love language and spoken word and the cadences of words read aloud. I realized, too, something from my own memory that made me better understand why I love this book (and the one before it by this author) so much. I don’t know why I didn’t make the connection when I reviewed Love that Dog on Episode 224. Today, suddenly, the connection was there.

I have contemplated the nature of podcasting and of life. I have interacted at Facebook. I have shared a drawing I did (my #Sktchy30 drawing last night for #day21) of a Creativity Matters group member. I fought off the need to disclaim, but I did spend a few minutes looking at a site on caricature… to reassure myself that while I seem to be falling into some kind of pattern with my nightly people drawings that unsettles me, I am not exaggerating to that degree. (I do know my work isn’t “caricature” in nature. But for some reason the word crept into my head last night when I took some hatching too far, so I looked it up this morning. This hopscotching is the nature of the creative journey for me, always.) I am fighting the feeling that I am not improving. I have some strange sense that I may be going in the wrong direction with my drawings, and that is counter intuitive. Practice yields improvement… in theory. I believe that and say that often on the CMP. I thought recently when flipping through a sketchbook that I could see that kind of progression. But for some reason, there is something niggling at me this week.

Last night, I was tired. It is disconcerting to startle awake with a stray mark on the drawing you have been doing, and yet it happens. I see where it happened. I tried to counteract… and that let to some overworking. I posted my sketch, trusting that the community appreciates the process, the exploring my creative world by example, and the honesty.

Then, in the middle of this sequence of Saturday morning, I watched a video I saw listed last night and saved. (I tried to watch it last night, but it wouldn’t load on my phone properly at the time. I also checked my library to see if the book by the author was available, and it is not.) It is a video on cross hatching. Someone in the Sketchbook Skool group posted it because the first week of the new Exploring class at Sketchbook Skool is about hatching. I am not in the class. (I wish I was in the class.) I have seen the examples posted by students in the class all week, and it has been amazing to see. There have been wonderful works posted… and people who don’t normally use hatching and cross hatching have produced beautiful pieces. I can only guess that Danny Gregory’s lesson is simply that good, that empowering. (I would watch anything Danny posted, so this does not surprise me.)

So someone posted a relevant video on hatching. (It may be something directly referenced in the course materials. I do not know.) I watched it this morning… and it is great. In watching, I had the strong desire to pull my work down, to unshare the sketch from last night. I see, instantly, so much of where I am going wrong — and certainly I don’t slow down properly. I watched a few of his videos, and there are a bunch. I feel like I just found a most inspiring rabbit hole!

So I wanted to share these videos by Alphonso Dunn and recommend his YouTube channel for others of you who work with pen and ink. There are multiple videos on hatching, but if you back out to the channel, you will find a whole suite of videos on drawing, shading, form, pattern, texture…

Start here:

These are next on my list to watch:

His book:

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